The Chicago Cubs embark upon the 2014 season after an off-season that saw the team made little changes to the Major League roster. In 2014, the Cubs will hope for improvement from their position players and pitching staff after a 2013 season that saw the team lose 96 games.
Welington Castillo was the Cubs starting catcher in 2013 and will operate in the same capacity with the team in 2014. With the Cubs in 2013, Castillo hit .274/.349/.397 to go along with 8 home runs and 32 RBIs. Furthermore, in 2013, Castillo also possessed a wOBA of .331 and a wRC+ of 106.
The 27-year old Castillo has always been considered the catcher of the future for the Cubs. Though, Castillo has yet to fully prove that he is worthy of that label. 2014 will be the second full-year that Castillo will be the starting catcher of the Cubs. Needless to say, 2014 will likely be a decisive season for Castillo and the Cubs.
Castillo has always been an offensive-minded catcher. Castillo’s wOBA of .331 last season is slightly above average and the same can be said about his wRC+ of 106. Where Castillo could stand to improve is on the defense. Castillo began to make those improvements during the 2013 season. In 2013, Castillo had a rSB of 4 to go along with a RPP of 3.1. Those numbers would fall in line with the notion that Castillo does indeed have a strong arm.
What Castillo needs the most is experience. There is a reason why Henry Blanco is a valuable player to any baseball team. That reasoning is because Blanco knows how to call a baseball game. That is the knowledge that Castillo needs to acquire. Castillo needs to acquire the knowledge of knowing the tendencies of the Cubs pitchers and how to get the most out of each of them. If Castillo can gain that knowledge in 2014, then he indeed may be a fixture for the Cubs at the catcher position.